Don’t let your pets get stressed by your house move
Moving house is a major upheaval for all the family and that includes the children and pets. You probably took your pets needs into consideration when buying or renting your new property but may not have thought about their needs during or immediately after your house move.
There is enough to think about and organise without pets adding to the complication of moving house. Small pets such as mice and rabbits may won’t need much reassurance but territorial animals such as dogs and cats can become disturbed by new surroundings.
We’ve come up with some tips we’ve learnt from years of experience of moving people to new homes.
Get them tagged before your move house
No-one wants to think about losing their pet but it is better to be safe than sorry. Get a new name tag for your dog with your new address on it and ensure they are micro-chipped.
Pets can get travel sickness too!
This might not be too important for local moves but some dogs and cats can get travel sickness on long journeys.
If you know your pet suffers from travel sickness or they are particularly old or nervous then ask your vet for suitable medication in advance of the house move.
Move your pet after you move house
If you can avoid moving your pet at the same time as everything else then that can simplify the move. It will reduce the stress on you and the animal if you can keep them in a kennel, cattery or with friends for a day or two.
The pet can then be moved into a settled, more quiet environment once the dust has settled.
If you can’t do this or don’t want to be away from your pet then get them indoors well before you move. You don’t want to be searching the neighbourhood for your cat when you should be loading your boxes into the van.
Keep pets in a quiet place – moving house can be busy!
Pets can pick up on your emotions so try to stay calm. You can offer reassurance by talking to them and providing familiar toys for them to play with.
After you have moved house
Once you have moved in, show your pet their bed and which rooms they are allowed in. Most people know to keep cats indoors for the first couple of days. If you have dogs or small animals that are allowed in the garden then make sure it is secure, without holes in the fences or gates.
Get back to your old routine as soon as possible, for example walking your dog at the same time each day. If you walk your dog around the new neighbourhood then keep them on a lead for the first few days until they become familiar with the new sights, sounds and smells.
Animals are reassured by familiar smells so keep their old toys and blankets – no matter how smelly they may seem to you!
We have even known people to take time off work after they have moved so their pets are reassured – not such a silly idea if you have ever seen how much damage a dog who likes to chew can do!
Finally don’t forget to register your pets at a new vets practice